Recently I’ve had multiple run-ins with some bonafide assholes. I could blame it on Mercury being in retrograde or the collective pitta-aggravation of summer or something energetic like that but, in truth, I think the reason I’m head to head with all these jerks is that I am the one acting like a sh*thead!
Yep, it’s not you – it’s me.
So, with this awareness (the first necessary step for making a change, as they say) I’m striving to modify my behavior and direct my energies into a more positive direction.
1- CHECK YOURSELF – Tune in and review the intention behind your words and actions. Consider the possible effects of your behavior before rashly reacting. Check in with yourself often and honestly ask yourself whether or not your actions are cultivating peace or bringing about more negativity. Here’s an example – I just started to write a snide derisive comment on someone’s post on elephant journal. But before I clicked “Submit Comment” I got up, walked over to the sink, got a glass of water and asked myself, “Do I really want to get in a fight with this person? Is there a good reason for me to argue with this person? Does it even matter? Will I bring about more happiness by engaging in this mini-battle?” Realizing that the answer to all four of these questions was a resounding no, I decided to delete the comment and walk away. Negative karma tailspin averted!
2 – DISTRACT YOURSELF MEANINGFULLY – Part of the reason I’ve been such a jerk recently is that I’ve been struggling with low self-esteem….feeling worthless, fat, boring, ugly, lazy, weak practice, blah blah blah – you know, the typical list of all those nasty mean things I tell myself on bad days. But sometimes, when I’m on top of my game, instead of wallowing in self-pity, ice cream and the internet, I’m able to remember that when this stuff comes up, one thing that really helps me is to get creative. Writing in my journal, making collages, writing postcards to old friends, reading devotional poetry, making up new recipes/making a yummy mess in the kitchen, playing my ukulele and singing sweet happy songs to myself – these have been the best tools for me recently. After a little creative fun time, I’m smiling again and being a much nicer person!
3: RAISE YOUR VIBRATION – The negative mantras (all the “I can’t, I’m bad, I’m worthless, I’m not enough” etc., etc.,) can get really overwhelming and suffocating, so one of the best things to do is to change your mantra! Instead of letting the monkey mind chatter on with the ugly, mean, negative stuff, consciously direct your mind to a mantra of higher vibration. I chant on my beads the Mahamantra or I start internally aligning the mantra of Sat Nam with the sound of my breath. Chanting helps you become more aware of your breath, slow it down and be more conscious and aware of yourself in the present moment. The power of the sound vibration of the mantras themselves will elevate your vibration. When you turn your attention to Love/God, it’s much harder to get pulled down into the muck of meanness and hurt. Another great way to do this is to rock out to your favorite kirtan music! Flip on the ipod and fill the room with bhakti! I assure you – you and everyone else around you will feel much better!
Bonus – one more great tool that always works: BE OF SERVICE – volunteer, teach yoga to a friend, help a stranger, do something kind to uplift another human being, be a good listener to someone in need, give of yourself selflessly and humbly, practice karma yoga!!!!
What works for you when you’re stuck in the muck?